It’s the age of the internet and mobile devices, and gambling is bigger than
Despite that, the ways to gamble haven’t really changed that much, although
the ways to access gambling games and services most definitely have.
If you’re new to gambling, this snapshot of all the different ways to do so
will serve as your guide through the jungle of gambling. Think of it as a sort
of summary, taking all the different threads of betting and gambling and weaving
them into one easy-to-understand tapestry which you can scan quickly to decide
what’s for you and what’s not.
If you see something you like, feel free to delve further into it by clicking
the associated buttons, where you’ll find more in-depth information on each way
So, let’s get started with casino gambling. We’ll then look at sports
betting, poker, numbers games, and even the global stock and commodities
Playing casino games is without a doubt the most fun way to make and lose
money ever invented.
Whether shooting dice, spinning reels, or playing card games, casinos both
online and in the real world offer lots of ways to entertain yourself while
giving you a shot at walking away with money in your pocket, too.
The move online has revolutionized casino gaming forever. It’s
now possible to play slots and other games from literally anywhere, whereas
before you would have had to make tracks to wherever the casino was.
Some of the key differences between playing at online casinos and land-based
Online casinos almost always
offer a much bigger selection of games. Some have literally thousands of
slots titles alone.
The minimum bets are usually
lower at online casinos. This is directly related to the lower cost of
Online casinos give almost
everyone a bonus and ongoing comps, whereas land-based casinos reserve those
perks for the high-rollers only.
It’s possible to jump around
from one online casino to another, claiming bonuses as you go, without
having to move from your sofa.
Despite these advantages,
many players do still prefer the land-based casino experience. It’s hard to
beat the tasty food, cold beer, and the “vibe” in a fun, well-run casino.
Types of Games
Whether you decide to play online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, you’ll
need to know the differences between the various games. No two are exactly
This section will help you develop a better understanding of how each game
works. If you see something you like and want to learn more, each game has a
button linking to a much more detailed page on that game.
Slot machines are pretty much the same online as they are in the real world,
with the objective of creating lines of matching symbols to score cash prizes.
The range of online slots today is incredible, from classic 3-reel games with
one or two ways to win to flashy, movie-themed slots with hundreds of ways to
win and multiple bonus features such as “free spins rounds” and “picking games”
offering instant cash prizes.
Jackpots also vary greatly and can range from a few hundred clams to several
If you fancy something which doesn’t require much thought or strategizing,
but which can still get your adrenaline pumping, slots are the way to go.
To learn more about slots, such as how to pick the games with the biggest
jackpots, click the button below.
There are only a few games in the casino which involve skill, and blackjack
is one of them. In fact, there are professionals who make a full-time living
playing blackjack online.
If you don’t know how to play already, you’ll be glad to know it’s incredibly
simple. You play against the dealer and will be dealt a number of cards, and
whoever gets closest to 21 without exceeding it will win the hand.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, such as what number value
each card is assigned in the quest to hit 21.
In all blackjack games, you’ll initially be dealt two cards, and can request
to either “hit,” which means to take another card, or “stand,” which means to
play with the two initial cards you’ve been dealt. Be careful if you choose a
“hit,” because exceeding 21 means you automatically “go bust,” or lose.
Learn more about the incredibly popular game of blackjack by clicking the
Sometimes it’s nice to not have to think about your next move and to just
relax, have fun, and let Lady Luck do her thing.
Roulette is the ideal game if you like the sound of that. The objective of
this game is to throw a ball onto a spinning wheel and bet on which number,
color, row, column, or square it will land in.
If that sounds complex, don’t worry; it’s extremely easy once you start
playing. To begin, you can just bet on red or black and learn from there.
Most roulette players agree that there are few feelings more thrilling than
going on a run and watching your money double several times in a row. On a
streak of five wins, a $10 starting bet could be worth $320 in under a minute.
If you want to know more about this seriously fun game of pure chance, click
the roulette button below.
Gambling games featuring dice are about as old as civilization itself, and
the undisputed king of casino dice games is craps.
To put it as simply as possible, the objective is to place your bets on the
craps table, picking from a number of possible outcomes once the dice are
For example, on the “come out roll,” you simply bet on either the shooter or
the casino to win. The shooter then rolls the dice and either wins or loses, and
that’s literally it.
Be aware that the craps table is enough to make most people’s heads spin when
first encountered, but this game is a lot simpler than it first seems. Don’t be
intimidated by the slight learning curve involved, because this is one of the
most rewarding casino games of all.
To learn more about how to play craps and the odds and intricacies of the
game, click the button below.
Video poker is one of the only games in the casino which, if the right
variant is played with perfect strategy, can return over 100% to players in the
Yes, you read that correctly. You can beat the house when playing these
simple 5-card poker machine games.
As with all poker games, the aim of video poker is to make the best possible
5-card hand, combining cards you start with and cards you trade for. As always,
the Royal Flush is the best possible combination and will pay most relative to
your initial bet.
Winning video poker depends on A) which variant you are playing, and B) your
video poker strategy. Get started learning about both by checking out the
in-depth video poker page below.
Baccarat is a simple card game which has been preferred by the rich,
aristocrats, kings, and people of importance throughout history. It’s known as a
favorite game of high-rollers. Yet today, anyone with any sort of bankroll can
play baccarat online.
It’s a remarkably simple game. You bet on either the player, the banker, or a
tie, and when the cards are dealt, whoever has nine (or the closest to it
without exceeding it) wins. Tens and face cards are worth zero, so if you got a
King and a five, your total would be five.
This is one of the few card games you don’t participate in but simply bet on
the outcome of.
There are a few little intricacies, such as the banker’s cut and baccarat
card values, that are worth knowing about before you start playing. Click the
button below to learn the rules, the odds, and how to play baccarat.
Sports betting is probably the oldest form of gambling of them all. From
early cavemen betting on fights and horse races to ultra-modern stadiums packed
full of elite athletes, sports betting has evolved into a global mega-pastime.
These days, it’s possible to bet on just about anything sports-related. The
most popular sports to bet on are horse racing, soccer, American football,
basketball, baseball, cricket, and combat sports.
Sports betting has taken on a new lease of life in the mobile era, and it’s
now possible to bet on all sorts of propositions through “in-play” betting. For
example, when a soccer team gets a penalty kick, it’s possible to bet on the
outcome in real time.
Types of Wagers
There’s a little bit more to sports betting than simply throwing your money
down on an outcome. There are a few different types of bets you need to be aware
of. Let’s take a look at some of those now.
This is the simplest form of bet and the one you’re most likely already
All that needs to happen for you to win a moneyline bet is for the team or
athlete you pick to win.
For example, if Arsenal FC is playing Manchester United and you pick Arsenal,
who then wins 3-1, you win.
Pay attention to the odds of any moneyline bet you are thinking of placing.
Bets on the underdog will always pay more than bets on the favorite.
Continuing with our previous example, if Arsenal is 2/1 (+200.00) to win and
you bet $10 on it, you’ll win $20, whereas if they had been 4/1 (+400.00), you
would have won $40 from the same $10 bet.
Total bets are sometimes called over/under bets, and the concern here is what
the combined score/points will be at the end of the game or match.
For example, in the Manchester United vs. Arsenal example, a total bet could
look like this.
Arsenal +6 (Over/Under 3) – Manchester United -6
You’ll need to pick whether Arsenal is likely to score more than three goals
in the entire match. You can pick over or under, and bets will pay accordingly.
If they score exactly three, this is called a “push,” and the bet is refunded.
Total bets are notoriously hard to predict, but some betting wizards sift
through historical data and notice opportunities. It’s your call as to whether
or not you engage in this type of betting. It’s always optional.
When you first encounter point spread betting, it can seem a little
confusing, to say the least.
Yet once understood, this type of bet is both popular and highly lucrative.
Let’s say the Steelers are playing against the Cowboys in a football game.
The point spread might look something like this.
Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers Point Spread
In this case, the Steelers are the favorites. Don’t worry about how realistic
this scenario is; it’s just an example!
So, if you bet on the Steelers to win, they’ll need to do so by a margin of
more than 6 points for the bet to come good. For example, they’ll have to win
Likewise, if you back the Cowboys and they lose the game by less than 6
points, your bet will still pay. It will also pay if they win outright.
Point spread betting is a little more complicated than straight-up moneyline
bets, but this type of betting is incredibly popular because there are lots of
hidden opportunities for knowledgeable bettors.
For example, if you see a team marked as the clear underdog with a large
point spread and you definitely don’t agree, then that’s a good opportunity to
make some money. Bet that the game will be a lot closer than the bookies
indicate with their spread, and if you’re right, then count your cash.
Prop Bets and Specials
Live betting has changed the nature of sports betting forever, making it
possible to bet on an endless number of outcomes while the game or match is
For example, going back to our Arsenal versus Manchester City example, let’s
say Arsenal is awarded a penalty kick in the 80th minute. You can place a single
bet, unrelated to any other bets you’ve made, as to whether or not they’ll score
This definitely adds an extra element of excitement into sports betting.
Suddenly, a boring corner kick or standard tennis serve becomes a potentially
profitable betting opportunity for those ready to capitalize.
Specials bets are a different animal altogether and don’t even necessarily
revolve around sports betting. For example, you can bet on which city will have
the coldest weather this weekend, or whether or not a certain celebrity couple
will announce a pregnancy before the end of the year, or who will win a TV
From fat cats in pinstripe suits smoking cigars while enjoying a game of
high-stakes Texas Hold’em to Joe Poker playing against players from around the
world in an online tournament, poker is more popular today than ever before.
This is one of the most exciting games of them all since it’s possible to win
based on pure psychology and/or skill, rather than having a winning hand.
Despite its popularity, many people don’t understand at first that there are
different types of poker. Texas Hold’em is definitely the best-known, but it’s
not the only game in town.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular poker games and how they
This is the mac daddy of all poker games, played by legions of fans all over
The objective is simple enough – you need to make the best possible 5-card
hand, according to Texas Hold’em poker hand ranks, using the two cards you are
dealt and five community cards on the table.
The best possible Texas Hold’em hand is a Royal Flush, which would consist of
a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit, whereas the lowest is a high
card, which would be something like a King versus your opponent’s 10.
Playing Texas Hold’em is a lot of fun, and unlike many other gambling games,
it’s one where skill and psychology are involved. This is what allows
professional poker players to make a living playing it.
7 Card Stud
This is a stud variant of poker, and while not as popular as Texas Hold’em, 7
Card Stud is still played at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) events every year.
Each player is dealt 7 cards, three facing down, and four facing up. The aim
of all poker games is to make the best possible 5-card hand, so you’ll need to
decide what your chances of winning are by peeking at your down-facing cards as
they are dealt and assessing what hands you have or are likely to make when the
up-facing cards are factored in.
Unlike with Texas Hold’em, there are no community cards in 7 Card Stud. The
seven cards you are dealt are the cards you will play with.
While all players will be able to see your up-facing cards, only you can see
your down-facing cards, and vice versa. This is where the intrigue and
excitement lies and what allows for “bluffing” and other poker tricks.
Ultimately, the poker hand ranks are the same, with a Royal Flush being the
best possible outcome. If you have one of these, you’ll want to bet big.
Sound complicated? Play a few hands, and you’ll soon pick it up.
Omaha has some similarities to Texas Hold’em, but there are some definite
In this game, there are five community cards and four “hole cards,” which are
your own individual cards no other players can see.
The objective is the same as other poker games – you need to make the best
possible 5-card hand. In Omaha poker rules, this has to be done using three
community cards and two hole cards. No other combination is accepted.
Having four hole cards, as opposed to the two in Hold’em, changes the game
quite dramatically and makes it possible to make big hands more often.
If you understand Hold’em, you’re 90% of the way there to understanding how
to play Omaha poker.
You’ve probably played the national or state lottery at least a few times,
but thanks to online gambling, you don’t have to wait for the weekly draw
It’s worth noting two things here. First, there are a few different types of
lotto games. Second, these almost always offer the worst odds in the house, with
only the luckiest players making any money.
Unlike some card games and sports betting, lottery games are down to pure and
simple chance. There’s nothing you can do to alter the outcome or improve your
That’s a heck of a lot of money for such a small country, and when the view
on scratch cards is expanded globally, there’s a truly phenomenal amount of
money being spent on them.
The objective of scratch-offs is to find matching symbols – for example,
three of the same car symbol – after scratching off a layer of (usually silver)
film. Of course, when playing online scratch cards, this is done automatically
by clicking a button.
Scratch-offs are so popular specifically because they don’t require any
thought or strategizing. They’re just a fun game of pure chance, with prizes
ranging from a few bucks all the way through to hundreds of thousands.
State and national lotteries are a well-known phenomenon, and those who win
them can instantly join the leagues of the mega-rich.
The idea is simple enough – you pick various numbers (usually five or six)
from among a pool of possible numbers. If your numbers come up, you win a share
of the available prize money. The more numbers you match, the more money you
win. If all your numbers come up, you win the jackpot.
The rules of each state lottery will vary slightly, with the UK lottery being
slightly different from the New York State lottery, for example.
Again, your odds of winning are low. Think one in millions, depending on the
Keno is found at lots of online casinos, but it falls squarely into the lotto
games category because that’s exactly what it is.
There are multiple different variants of keno with a few unique twists such
as extra or special balls, but the objective of all of them is the same. You
make various number picks from 1-80, place your wager, and wait for the keno
hopper machine to make the draw.
The more numbers you match, the more money you win. The hopper machine will
make 20 picks in classic keno, and the top prizes are reserved for those who
match 15. It’s possible to get paid for matching just two, though.
Despite the poor odds, keno is a highly enjoyable game, and that’s why so
many people play it.
The days of old ladies with blue rinses holding up bingo cards and collecting
on them are still well and truly alive, but these days it’s much more common to
find people from all walks of life playing online bingo.
There are a couple of different variants of bingo, with 80-ball and 90-ball
variants being the most common, depending on whether you’re in North America or
Whichever type you choose to play, the objective of bingo games is to “mark
off” numbers on your bingo card as they are “called.” In the real world, this
will be done by a bingo host, whereas online it is done by a computer program in
When you make a winning pattern, which could be a straight line across, a
diagonal line, or something else entirely (depending on the bingo variant), you
will win a cash prize.
Unlike in the real world, where you’ll need to stand up and call out
“BINGO!”, online versions will pay out cash prizes automatically.
It’s a game of pure chance, just like all lotto games, so don’t worry about
learning bingo strategy or anything like that. The objective of bingo is to have
fun, and that’s one thing that’s guaranteed.
We’ve already covered the most popular forms of gambling online above, but
there a few others you won’t necessarily find at an online casino or sportsbook.
These include the following.
Most people have encountered a raffle at some point in their lives. Schools,
workplaces, and organizations of all kinds hold them to raise funds for good
causes or other purposes.
The point of raffles is simple – you buy a ticket for a fee, and if it’s
drawn from the “hat,” you win the associated prize. This could be a cash amount,
a car, tickets to a gig, or a teddy bear, depending on the type of raffle.
Raffles are a lot of fun, but they’re also a game of pure chance. You won’t
normally find them at online casinos as a game in and of themselves, but some
casinos have regular prize draws for cars and holidays, which are run exactly
the same way as raffles.
This is about as simple as gambling can get, and your odds are 50:50 – unless
a trick coin is being used, of course!
Betting on a coin toss is as simple as choosing heads or tails. If you win,
you double your money, whereas if you lose, you walk away with nothing.
We’ve encountered a few digital coin toss games at casinos online, but
they’re mostly played in the real world. Online casinos don’t tend to like games
where they don’t have an edge.
Warren Buffett might strongly disagree with our inclusion of the stock market
as a form of gambling, but even the Oracle of Omaha isn’t always right.
The fact is, stock trading, commodities trading, binary options, spread
betting, derivatives, and the countless other ways to play the stock market are
exactly that – gambling.
There are now countless online brokerages and platforms to play the financial
markets online, and some people have been seriously successful in making
tremendous amounts of money doing so.
However, as of yet, nobody has devised a perfect system for predicting the
stock market (not for a lack of trying, mind you). Until that day comes, there
will always be an element of chance with buying and selling stocks and shares,
trading commodities, and all of the other ways to bet money on the outcome of a
stock or asset.
When chance is involved, it’s gambling. See our logic?
Which Type of Gambling Is Best?
The best type of gambling for you really depends on what you’re looking for.
If fun is your main objective, then it’s difficult to go wrong with video
slots or roulette. These games require little thought, and the rush of going on
a winning streak is difficult to describe until it’s experienced first-hand.
If making money is your objective, it’s best to stick with a skill-based game
such as poker or blackjack. There’s no way to win any game every time, but these
are games you can improve at over time, and there are many professional players
who make a living playing these games.
If you just want a shot at the big time, with no thought required, then
lottery games are your best bet. However, the odds of becoming a millionaire are
terrible. The odds of winning the UK lottery, for example, are approximately 1
If you’re a sports fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of a given sport, then
obviously sports betting is your best bet.
There are plenty of pro sports bettors (see
Billy Walters), and while nobody can predict the outcome of a sports event
perfectly, the more you know, the more success you will generally have.
Unlike casino games, where the odds are always tilted slightly in the favor
of the casino, no bookmaker can perfectly predict what will happen in the world
of sports, either, and so it’s definitely possible to win any given bet.
If you feel the fun has stopped and you’re now gambling because you need to,
rather than want to, you might be addicted to gambling.
Some signs of gambling addiction include:
Gambling money you don’t have
or borrowing to gamble
Keeping your gambling
activities a secret from partners or loved ones
Strained relationships as a
result of gambling
Feelings of shame or
helplessness after gambling
Mood swings if you can’t
Financial problems as a
result of gambling
If you recognize any of those symptoms or are suffering in any other way as a
result of gambling, help is available. Click the button below to go to our
resources for overcoming problem gambling page.
As you can see, gambling is a part of human life, and we as a species have
invented a way to place a wager on the outcome of just about anything.
Just as with drinks, sports, travel, or anything else people do for fun,
there are different “strains” or “types” of gambling to suit different tastes
and types of players. Which one suits you best, only you can decide.
Remember that while it’s entirely possible to make money gambling, in most
cases the house will have an edge. This is especially true if you play casino
games, rather than play poker or bet on sports or the stock market. The main
reason to gamble is for fun, and not as a full-time money-making pursuit.
Whichever form of gambling you decide on, you’ll need a little luck to walk
away in the green. No matter what happens, though, you’re sure to have a lot of
fun along the way, and that’s why there are so many ways to gamble.
We wish you the best of luck and hope you bring down the house!
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